The Way Back: All-Inclusive

This blanket tax ID card belonged to Jean (Hudson) Caton, ’39, the great-grandmother of the Alcalde’s managing editor, Eliza Pillsbury, BA, BJ ’23, Life Member.

A ticket to a Longhorn football game in 2023 could run you a cool $2,500—the highest resale price for the home game against Alabama last season. But in 1938, UT students only had to pay $10.50 to get access to a variety of cultural and athletic events, including home and away games.

The “blanket tax,” a program started in 1916 to consolidate student fees and promote equity and accessibility, not only served as a student’s ticket to these events, but also supported student organizations including The Daily Texan, the Longhorn Band, and Student Government.   

“We view the blanket tax as a cooperative plan, whereby the burden of activities will be equalized … and the different activities will be brought within the reach of every student in school,” reads a 1916 Daily Texan article advocating for the initiative.  

Student ticketing has gone through several evolutions since then. Readers might remember the Longhorn All-Sports Package, which allowed students home game tickets to all athletic events based on availability but could be paired with a $70 season ticket that guaranteed a seat in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.  

In 2014, the LASP was replaced by the Big Ticket, which debuted at $175 with guaranteed stadium seating. But demand would soon surpass the student section’s capacity—most memorably at the 2019 LSU game with construction in the South End Zone limiting seats even further—and Texas Athletics needed a new way to ensure safety and comfort for fans.   

Starting this school year, Big Ticket holders had to go online each week to claim one of a finite number of mobile-entry passes. The Big Ticket is up to $200 now, but morale seems to be rising with the prices ahead of our first season in the SEC. No matter the ticketing system, there will always be UT students in the stands.  

CREDIT: Courtesy of Rob and Betty Caton




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